Childhood Cancer Canada adds a human touch to clinical trials

The non-profit loses the jargon around new treatments in favour of powerful stories.


When Childhood Cancer Canada hired Fuse Create to help with its latest awareness campaign, the charity wanted to spotlight the importance of clinical trials.

“There’s a bit of a myth that childhood cancer is rare,” says Kathy Motton, the non-profit’s director of marketing and communications. “There’s 10,000 children in Canada who are dealing with childhood cancer right now.”

For those children, clinical trials can be a vital piece of their treatment and critical to their survival. One in five children don’t survive a cancer diagnosis in Canada, and that statistic increases for those who have been living with the disease for longer than five years.

But for many families, getting access to a clinical trial for their child isn’t easy.

“The general population doesn’t realize that accessibility to some clinical trials for children is a problem. It’s something you’re only familiar with if you work in the industry or have a child who has cancer,” says Motton. “But when you have a kid for whom the traditional treatments don’t work, it’s important they have access.”

That’s why Childhood Cancer Canada launched the new social campaign, which Motton says can help not only boost awareness of the issue, but also help raise funds.

CCC_NAOMILaunched as social posts on Facebook and Instagram for International Childhood Cancer Day on Feb. 15, the creative tells the stories of six children who have been successful in recovery because they received clinical trials. The campaign was funded with an unrestricted grant from pharmaceutical company Bayer and features images that use the gold ribbon from Childhood Cancer Canada’s logo as a frame for a photo of the child whose story is told in each post.

“The goal was really to use a creative lens to humanize clinical trials,” explains Garo Keresteci, a founding partner of Fuse Create. “We wanted to show that they lead to these amazing outcomes and really allow kids to be kids… The children are front-and-centre… This isn’t the technical jargon around clinical trials. It’s about the children and their stories.”